Speaking on RMC Sport, former France international striker Christophe Dugarry referred to Lionel Messi as a “1.5m tall kid who is half autistic,” when discussing Antoine Griezmann’s role at Barcelona.

What is Griezmann afraid of? A kid who is 1.5 metres tall and half autistic? All he has to do is show some balls at some point. I’ve been saying for a year that he has a problem with Messi. He has to hit him in the face. It’s true that Messi could give him more passes, but honestly I am not surprised. Griezmann loses balls, doesn’t play with confidence. He should go and talk to Messi to solve the problem.”

Dugarry has been heavily criticised since, which led to an apology from the 48-year-old: “I’m sincerely sorry for the breadth and depth of my remarks about Lionel Messi,” he tweeted. “I didn’t want to stigmatise people with autism disorders, that was not my intention.”